Growing your own emergency garden foods is nutritious, self sustaining, and also budget-smart when preparing and stocking food for emergencies and any possible food shortage.
If you have the means to grow a survival garden, it can greatly improve your self sustainability.
Below are several different suggestions of garden food varieties to plant and store.
Descriptions of each variety includes general nutrition and approximate calorie content, which may benefit some while making their decisions as to what to add to their survival garden.
Also keep in mind... Survival seeds or non-hybrid seeds, are the best choice for planting a more self-sufficient garden for your food supply.
Beans and Peas - (a MUST for your emergency garden foods list and your survival food storage)
Beans are one of the best sources of plant protein. All peas, beans and chickpeas are collectively known as legumes. They have the most protein with the least fat of any food, and they’re high in potassium but low in sodium. Most common beans have 215 calories per cooked cup (Lima beans go up to 260 calories).
TIP: The most common complaint about beans is that they cause gas. Here’s how to help contain that problem:
Before cooking, rinse the beans and remove foreign particles, put in a kettle and cover with boiling water, soak 4 hours or longer, remove any beans that float to the top, rinse again, and then cook the beans in fresh water. This method removes many of the gas-causing enzymes.
Berries are a great source of potassium that can assist you in blood pressure control. They are a perfect weight-loss food. Berries have natural fructose sugar that satisfies your longing for sweets and enough fiber so you absorb fewer calories than you eat.
Blackberries have 74 calories per cup, blueberries 81, raspberries 60, and strawberries 45. So use your imagination and enjoy the berry of your choice.
Broccoli is America’s favorite vegetable, according to a recent poll. No wonder. A cup of cooked broccoli has a mere 44 calories. It delivers a staggering nutritional payload and is considered the number one cancer-fighting vegetable. It has no fat, loads of fiber, cancer fighting chemicals called indoles, carotene, 21 times the RDA of vitamin C and calcium.
This staple is a true wonder food. It retains all its nutritional goodness no matter how long you cook it. There are only 33 calories in a cup of cooked shredded cabbage, and eating cabbage raw, cooked, as sauerkraut, or coleslaw only once a week is enough to protect against colon cancer. And it may be a longevity-enhancing food. Surveys show that people who eat a lot of it have the least colon cancer and the lowest death rates overall.
Your emergency garden foods list of health-promoting, fat-fighting foods, would certainly not be complete without this orange garden favorite? A medium-sized carrot carries about 55 calories and is a nutritional powerhouse. The orange color comes from beta carotene, a powerful cancer-preventing nutrient (pro-vitamin A).
We’re talking collard, chicory, beet, kale, mustard, swiss chard and turnip greens. They all belong to the same family as spinach, and that’s one of the super-stars. No matter how hard you try, you can’t load a cup of plain cooked greens with any more than 50 calories.
They’re full of fiber, loaded with vitamins A and C, and free of fat. You can use them in salads, soups, casseroles or any dish where you would normally use spinach.
People think lettuce is nutritionally worthless, but nothing could be farther from the truth. It provides a lot of filling bulk for so few calories, 10 calories per cup of raw romaine.. And it’s full of vitamin C, too.
In planting your emergency garden foods, go beyond iceberg lettuce try: Boston, bibb and cos varieties or watercress, arugula, radicchio, dandelion greens, purslane and even parsley for extra nutrition and to liven up your salads.
Here’s great taste and great nutrition in a low-calorie package! They have some of the highest fiber content of any food and are delicious. Throw in handsome quantities of vitamins A and C plus a whopping 547 mgs of potassium in that cup of cantaloupe, and you have a fat-burning health food beyond compare. The calories in one cup of melon balls is: cantaloupe 62 calories, casaba 44 calories, honeydew 62 calories, and watermelon 49 calories.
All varieties of peppers are astonishingly rich in vitamins A and C, abundant in calcium, phosphorus, iron and magnesium, high in fiber, free of fat, low in sodium and have just 24 calories per cup. Most salsa recipes call for four to eight chilies – that’s not a lot.
All varieties; bell peppers, sweet peppers, and hot peppers store very well when dried in a food dehydrator. They can be added to your favorite recipes or ground-up for your own supply of flavorful seasonings.
An excellent staple food to add to your emergency garden foods list. A great source of fiber and potassium, they lower cholesterol and protect against strokes and heart disease. Did you know: preparation and toppings methods are the only thing "fattening" about a potato? Potatoes have 0.6 calories per gram or about 85 calories per potato.
Popeye really knew what he was talking about, spinach has the ability to lower cholesterol, rev up the metabolism and burn away fat. Rich in iron, beta carotene and vitamins C and E, it supplies most of the nutrients you need.
Zucchini, Butternut, Winter squash - All are very low in saturated fat, good source of vitamins A, C, E, B6, Thiamine, Niacin, Calcium and Magnesium. Acorn, butternut and other varieties of winter squash are loaded with health-promoting beta-carotene, potassium and vitamin C. Most squash varieties supply only 42 calories per cup. Roasted squash and pumpkin seeds are a very delicious and healthy snack.
Their creamy orange flesh is one of the best sources of vitamin A you can consume. You can make a meal out of them and not worry about gaining a pound, each sweet potato has about 103 calories.
Last on our emergency garden foods list, but certainly not least! These garden delights are low in fat and sodium, high in potassium and rich in fiber. A medium tomato (2.5” diameter) has only about 25 calories.
Don't overlook the many ways of canning or preserving them: crushed, peeled, whole, stewed, and dried (dehydrated). They make salsas, sauces, casseroles and soups taste great while retaining their nutritional goodness and low-calorie status.
Tomatoes make one of the top on our emergency garden foods list to add and store with your emergency food storage items.
The above emergency garden foods list certainly does not cover ALL the food varieties that you could store or grow, but it does give you a HEALTHY choice of many staple foods to help prepare you for a disaster or food shortage emergency.
Most of these garden foods can be dehydrated for easy use in recipes, for snacking, and it's a great way to retain the nutritional value of the food. Dehydrating foods also helps to resolve the limited-space-problem of bulky canned or bottled food storage.